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Mexican gang member guilty in U.S. Consulate employee's death

  |   Feb. 19, 2014 at 2:23 PM
EL PASO, Texas, Feb. 19 (UPI) -- A federal jury in Texas convicted a Mexican drug cartel member of ordering the 2010 slayings of a U.S. consulate employee and two others in Juarez, Mexico.

The jury hearing the trial before U.S. District Judge Kathleen Cardone in El Paso found Arturo Gallegos Castrellon guilty Wednesday of multiple counts of murder, multiple counts of racketeering, narcotics trafficking, narcotics importation, murder in a foreign country and conspiring to launder money, the U.S. Justice Department said in a release.

Gallegos Castrellon was convicted in the March 13, 2010, triple homicide in Juarez of U.S. Consulate employee Leslie Enriquez, her husband Arthur Redelfs and Jorge Salcido Ceniceros, husband of another U.S. Consulate employee.

The jury also heard evidence the defendant was behind the July 15, 2010, car bombing in Juarez that targeted Mexican Federal Police.

Among other things, prosecutors at trial presented evidence Gallegos Castrellon was in charge of Barrio Azteca, teams of assassins he helped create. Testimony and other evidence at trial established that his teams killed as many as 800 people from January to August 2010 alone.

The Justice Department said 35 defendants were indicted and are alleged to have committed numerous criminal acts, including the Juarez Consulate murders, racketeering, narcotics distribution and importation, retaliation against persons who provided information to U.S. law enforcement, extortion, money laundering, murder and obstruction of justice. Of the 35 defendants charged, 26 have been convicted, one committed suicide before the conclusion of his trial, and six are awaiting extradition.

U.S. law enforcement officials are working to apprehend the two at-large fugitives in the case, including Eduardo Ravelo, an FBI Top 10 Most Wanted fugitive.

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